This very limited bottling of the 2016 Clone 169 Cabernet Sauvignon demonstrates the unique characteristics of a wine made from vines planted to this single, outstanding clone during the exceptional 2016 vintage. Full of flavor and intensity, this Cabernet shows beautiful red berry and blueberry fruit aromas and characters. A bouquet of red currant, raspberry, blueberry and black cherry sits alongside darker more savory notes of bittersweet dark chocolate, espresso and molasses, a tribute from the toasted oak spice nuances from the well-integrated oak aging. The present tannins are rich and lush while the wine is smooth, generous and round, showcasing great finesse and elegance. There is a very present line of vibrant acidity which perfectly expresses the core of red fruit and depth of the lengthy mouthwatering finish. While enjoyable now, this wine will continue to develop complexity in the bottle and will age well for another 20+ years when stored at ideal cellar temperatures.
|100% Cabernet Sauvignon
|Aged 22 months in French oak (100% new)
“This offers really pure blackcurrant character and spread-out tannins. Full-bodied and very juicy, yet dry and balanced. Long and precise. Drink after 2022, but already a joy to taste.” - James Suckling, February 2020
”Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged for 22 months in 100% new French oak, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 169 is deep garnet-purple in color. Out of the gate, the nose is straight-up enticing, giving up profound blackcurrant cordial, fruitcake and blueberry pie scents followed by nuances of candied violets, rare beef, cardamom and cumin with a hint of woodsmoke. Full-bodied, the taut, muscular palate is laden with black fruit and exotic spice layers, framed by firm, grainy tannins and tons of freshness, finishing with great length and depth.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
At our state-of-the-art winery, dedicated exclusively to the production of our Reserve wines, we utilized the latest technology to destem and sort the berries of this clone to retain only the highest quality fruit. Cold soaking of the must and gentle pump overs mixed the flavor-rich skins with the juice. Upon completion of primary fermentation, we pressed and transferred the wine to new French oak barrels for in-barrel malolactic fermentation and aging. Because of the uniqueness of the expression of this clonal selection of Cabernet Sauvignon, we treat this wine as a special lot or single vineyard wine.
Jeffrey Stambor joined the Beaulieu Vineyard winemaking team in 1989 as a viticulturist/enologist. As the current director of winemaking, he leads production of the winery’s world-renowned Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon, and presided over the harvest and vinification of 2013 Rarity – the extremely limited release Cabernet Sauvignon blend. He is only the fourth director of winemaking in Beaulieu Vineyard’s history, and the third to craft Georges de Latour Private Reserve over the 77-year history of that iconic wine following Andre Tchelistcheff, the original winemaker, and his immediate predecessor, Joel Aiken.
The extended drought was causing concern as the 2016 growing season began, but welcomed winter rain hinted relief. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant February rainfall along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, around Labor Day, and continued leisurely, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter 2015, and the extended mild season balanced the acids and added complexity to the flavor layers. Considered a perfect harvest and a winemaker’s dream vintage, conditions combined for producing a Cabernet with beautiful fruit, tremendous flavor concentration, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity.
The Cabernet 169 clone is a French, Bordeaux clone that first came to the US and was planted by UC Davis in 2003. Since then, it has been gaining popularity in all the major Cabernet growing regions, and is especially prolific on Mount Veeder within Napa Valley, although our Clone 169 is primarily sourced from our Estate Rutherford benchland vineyards. In 1980, we began a 14-year series of trials in conjunction with UC Davis, to identify Cabernet Sauvignon clones best suited to our Rutherford Bench terroir. Clone 169 was ultimately selected for grafting to rootstocks planted in the well-draining, alluvial fan soils of our estate vineyard. As a component of our Georges de Latour and other reserve Cabernet Sauvignons, Clone 169 has good berry size, high vigor, and a well-balanced acid to sugar ratio. The wine can be higher in alcohol, depending on the winemaking style and it was created to produce a big, bold Cabernet with intense complexity. The color is a vibrant, deep red and the mouthfeel tends to be powerful with a lingering finish. This grape is definitely for the adventurous winemaker.
To create a better experience for you across all of our brands, we’ll check this info with accounts across the Treasury Wine Estates Portfolio of brands: Beringer, Beaulieu Vineyard, Etude, Hewitt Vineyard, Stags' Leap, Sterling, Penfolds, and TheWineShop.
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